The Unlearning Organisation LO9952

Frank Billot (
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 01:26:39 +0200

Replying to LO9903 --

At 15:28 11/09/1996 -0400, you wrote:
>I just wanted to respond to your phrase, "attached to", which I like much
>better than "full". First, I think Buddhism talks about "attachment", so
>your phrase connects to that philosophical tradition. Second, my image of
>attachment allows for (infinitely) many attachments to different
>"representations of the world", while fullness seems to be an
>unidimensional construct. Third, I see it as very similar to my use of
>the word, "habit", indicating a strongly entrained sequence of behaviors.
>Last, combining Frank's comment and yours has reminded me that our
>perceptions are constructions (as are memories), and as such are active
>processes that we have some control over.=20
>I believe I've used the phrase, "evenly hovering attention", here before,
>and it seems apt here. The essence of the concept (the same as
>"emptying"?) is a suspension of judgment/deciding to allow for all
>possibilities. A colleague once suggested to me a phrase to capture this:
>"Don't just do something, sit there!" Action closes off possibilities;
>delaying action allows more information to become available.
>Jeff Brooks (


I liked your posting.

On attachement in the Buddhist sense of the term, you make emerge the
concept of clinging to ideas as a means to reinforce (or protect) one's

(BTW it may be one of the root causes of the cultural pressure to conform
stated by Bob

>In New Zealand where
>I now live, there is a cultural pressure to conform and not stand out from
>the crowd. Both transcended political ideology. Both incidentally have
>enormous implications for "learning organisations". )

This represents a valuable key for me. One of my main concern about LO,
change, ...
is "what makes it possible to favour insight over our representations,
shadows and so forth". Attachement to ideas as a protection for identity is
a gross (not subtle) hindrance, that can be overcome by untightening the
idea of self. Strangely enough, to me the world seems to be divided in two
(an hypothesys I still question !) :
- those who don't question their identity and relation to the world
- those who can take some distance with their persona ("caracters" in
Jungian terms).

In some threads, people question the means to foster systemic thinking,
especially among managers. I want to extand this question to the fostering
of insight. I wonder then if it can just happen with the first type of
person, and another way to put it is : does the first type exist ?
Underlying there, is the belief that each one has its own ripeness pace,
and that until time/circumstances have come, the magic can take place. You
might relate this to some Karma concept I believe. Yet, can't we be the
circumstances that favour the ripening? Here is another belief : each one
has the potential inside, the rendez-vous, encounter may not be always

These ideas may look quite confused or unrelated to some. Sorry.
Yet, IMO it spreads some light on unlearning as a consequence of loosening
our attachement to protections (and fears), of taking distance with our
"identity", of being a silent watcher of our stream of conscious ideas.
Silent watcher : not rejecting, not taking part to. Would'nt that be a way
to get more choices than our current certainties do offer ? I mean,
practically it would be considering what seems evident as an hypothesys,
introducing the doubt to unstick the "reality" from "us".

I found plenty of material in Paul Watzlawick'reframing concepts. The
double-loop concept used in LO is parallel to the one of second order
change he developped in Change, Principles of problem Formation and
Problem Resolution. The idea is that we can only access to a higher model
if we receive help from outside of the current model we are working with.
He uses a metaphor of the maths' group theory according to which one
cannot obtain elements external to a group when using operations
pertaining to that group. Similarly, could we expect doubt, distance to be
the lead to an automatic "meta" tool in respect to mental models ?
(automatic in the sense that we would not have to rely on time/hasard to

Would we find there a way to think the unthinkable (quote from someone
recent's posting), see through an readable future ?

Hoping that it is readable and not boring

Frank Billot

L'exp=E9rience, ce n'est pas ce qui arrive =E0 l'individu.
C'est ce que l'individu fait de ce qui lui arrive.=20

Experience is not what happens to an individual.=20
It is what the individual makes of what happens to him.
Aldous Huxley


Frank Billot <>

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